Weekly Market Insights

The Markets (as of market close October 15, 2021)

Despite a shaky start, Wall Street enjoyed a strong week of gains. A favorable start to corporate earnings season helped lift equities higher. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here posted solid weekly gains, led by the Nasdaq and the S&P 500. The dollar and Treasury yields slipped, while crude oil prices rose 3.5% to $82.25 per barrel. Despite the generally positive week, investors will continue to keep an eye on economic data and rising prices. Higher oil, gas, and other commodity prices could raise concerns about inflationary pressures and how they could drag down corporate profit margins. Materials shortages, rising wages, and shipping bottlenecks have driven up costs for producers. Many have passed these costs on to consumers, leading to more persistent inflation. Initial earnings data comes from banks and financial institutions. The next few weeks will see earnings reports from the bulk of companies in most sectors and may reveal the impact that inflation and supply demands has had on earnings margins so far in the third quarter.

Monday was the Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples' Day public holidays but stock markets were open and bond markets were closed. The Dow and the S&P 500 fell 0.7%, while the Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 dipped 0.6% on what was a fairly slow trading day. Crude oil prices rose 1.5% to reach $80.51 per barrel, a multi-year high. Investors may be waiting for the next round of corporate earnings data to weigh the potential impact of rising energy prices, labor costs, and supply-chain bottlenecks.

Stocks fell again last Tuesday. Only the small caps of the Russell 2000 ended the day in the black, gaining 0.6%. The Global Dow (-0.4%), the Dow (-0.3%), the S&P 500 (-0.2%), and the Nasdaq (-0.1%) declined. Ten-year Treasury yields dipped below 1.6%, closing the day at 1.58%. Crude oil prices were little changed, while the dollar advanced 0.2%. Consumer discretionary, real estate, and utilities led the market sectors, while communication services, information technology, and health care declined by at least 0.5%.

Equities rose for the first time in four sessions last Wednesday. With inflationary pressures continuing to run hot (see Consumer Price Index information below), technology shares increased, as investors seemed to focus on companies better able to pass on higher costs to consumers. The Nasdaq led the surge, climbing 0.7%, followed by the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500, which climbed 0.3%. The Dow and the Global Dow broke even on the day. Treasury yields, crude oil prices, and the dollar declined. Among the market sectors, utilities (1.1%) and information technology (0.6%) advanced, while financials dipped 0.6%.

Stocks rallied last Thursday, buoyed by strong bank earnings reports and encouraging unemployment data. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here gained at least 1.0%, led by the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, which added 1.7%. The Dow gained 1.6%, the Russell 2000 climbed 1.4%, and the Global Dow advanced 1.1%. The dollar and Treasury yields eased for the second consecutive day, while crude oil prices rose to $81.53 per barrel. Materials and information technology gained 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively, to lead the market sectors.

The market advanced for the third consecutive day last Friday. Strong earnings data and stronger-than-expected retail sales provided encouragement for investors. The Dow advanced 1.1%, followed by the Global Dow (0.9%), the S&P 500 (0.8%), and the Nasdaq (0.5%). The small caps of the Russell 2000 slipped 0.4%. Ten-year Treasury yields climbed 3.8%, crude oil prices rose 1.2%, while the dollar was little changed. The market sectors closed Friday generally higher, with consumer discretionary (1.8%) and financials (1.5%) leading the pack.

The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.267 per gallon on October 11, $0.077 per gallon more than the prior week's price and $1.100 higher than a year ago. Gasoline production increased during the week ended October 8, averaging 9.6 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.1 million barrels per day during the week ended October 8 — 700,000 barrels per day less than the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 86.7% of their operable capacity, down from the prior week's level of 89.6%.

Market/Index

2020 Close

Prior Week

As of 10/15

Weekly Change

YTD Change

DJIA

30,606.48
 34,746.25 35,294.76 1.58% 15.32%

Nasdaq

12,888.28

 14,579.54 14,897.34
2.18%

15.59%

S&P 500

3,756.07

4,391.34 4,471.37 1.82%

19.04%

Russell 2000

 1,974.86 2,233.09

2,265.65

1.46% 14.72%

Global Dow

3,487.52

4,026.66

4,089.46 1.56%

 

17.26%

Fed. Funds target rate

0.00%-0.25%

0.00%-0.25%

0.00%-0.25%

0 bps

0 bps

10-year Treasuries

0.91%

1.60%

1.57%

-3 bps

66 bps

US Dollar-DXY

89.84

94.10

93.94

-0.17% 4.56%

Crude Oil-CL=F

$48.52 $79.48 $82.25 3.49% 69.52%

Gold-GC=F

$1,893.10

$1,756.80 $1,768.80 0.68%

 

-6.57%
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week's Economic News

  • Consumer prices continued to escalate in September. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% last month after advancing 0.3% in August. Over the last 12 months ended in September, consumer prices have risen 5.4%. The price index less food and energy rose 0.2% in September and 4.0% over the last 12 months. In September, several price indexes increased, including the index for food (0.9%), food at home (1.2%), energy (1.3%), fuel oil (3.9%), new vehicles (1.3%), and shelter (0.4%). Price indexes that decreased include apparel (-1.1%), used cars and trucks (-0.7%), and transportation services (-0.5%). Since September 2020, the price index for energy has risen 24.8%, with gasoline prices advancing 42.1% and fuel oil prices up 42.6%.
  • Producer prices advanced 0.5% in September after climbing 0.7% the previous month. Producer prices have risen 8.6% over the past 12 months ended in September, the largest 12-month increase in the history of the index, which began November 2010. A 1.3% increase in goods accounted for nearly 80% of the overall price increase. Driving goods prices higher was a 2.8% jump in prices for energy (gasoline prices rose 3.9%). Producer prices for services moved up 0.2% in September, led by a 0.9% increase in trade services (a measure of the margins received by wholesalers and retailers).
  • Retail sales increased 0.7% in September following a 0.9% jump in August. Retail sales have risen 13.9% since September 2020. Excluding motor vehicle and gasoline sales, retail sales advanced 0.7%, an indication that total consumer spending was strong in September.
  • Import prices climbed 0.4% in September after declining 0.3% the prior month. The September rise in imports was the largest one-month increase since a 1.1% advance in June. In September, the advance was led by higher fuel import prices (3.7%). Since September 2020, import prices have risen 9.2%. Export prices ticked up 0.1% following a 0.4% increase in August. Export prices haven't declined since April 2020 and are up 16.3% over the past 12 months.
  • The number of job openings decreased by 659,000 in August to 10.4 million. The rate of job openings also declined 0.4 percentage point to 6.6%. In August, there were 6.8 million hires, a decrease of 439,000 from July's total. The number of separations in August, at 6.0 million, rose by 209,000. Within separations, the number of quits increased in August to 4.3 million (+242,000), and the quits rate increased to a series high of 2.9%. Over the 12 months ended in August, hires totaled 72.6 million and separations totaled 66.7 million, yielding a net employment gain of 5.9 million.
  • For the week ended October 9, there were 293,000 new claims for unemployment insurance, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week's level, which was revised up by 3,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims for the week ended October 2 was 1.9%, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's rate. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended October 2 was 2,593,000, a decrease of 134,000 from the prior week's level, which was revised up by 13,000. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 14, 2020, when it was 1,770,000. For comparison, last year at this time, there were 833,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the rate for unemployment claims was 6.3%. During the last week of February 2020 (pre-pandemic), there were 219,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits was 1,724,000. States and territories with the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ended September 25 were Illinois (4.4%), Puerto Rico (4.3%), California (3.3%), Hawaii (2.9%), the Virgin Islands (2.8%), New Jersey (2.7%), the District of Columbia (2.6%), Nevada (2.6%), Alaska (2.5%), and Pennsylvania (2.5%). The largest increase in initial claims for the week ended October 2 was in Pennsylvania (+1,707), while the largest decreases were in California (-14,733), the District of Columbia (-3,905), Michigan (-3,370), Missouri (-2,598), and Texas (-2,376).

Eye on the Week Ahead

The Federal Reserve's report on industrial production for September is available this week. The industrial sector has been advancing, despite supply-chain bottlenecks and labor shortages, which have led to increased costs. Data from the housing sector is also out this week, with reports on housing starts and existing home sales. Housing starts rose nearly 4.0% in August, although sales of existing homes fell more than 2.0%.

The Markets (as of market close October 8, 2021)

Stocks closed last week generally higher, despite a weak jobs report. A Congressional deal to extend the debt ceiling until early December helped drive stocks higher during the middle of the week. A poor showing last Friday was not enough to prevent the benchmark indexes from closing the week mostly in the black. The Dow enjoyed its biggest weekly gain since June. The S&P 500 advanced, while the Global Dow ended the week up over 1.3%. The Nasdaq eked out a gain, but the Russell 2000 dipped nearly 0.4%. Among the market sectors, energy jumped 5.0%, financials rose 2.3%, industrials climbed 1.8%, utilities increased 1.5%, and consumer staples advanced 1.4%. The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained 14 basis points to close the week at the highest level since June 4. Crude oil prices continued to rise, closing in on $80.00 per barrel. The dollar rose marginally, while gold prices declined.

Wall Street did not get off to a strong start last Monday. The Dow fell over 320 points and the Nasdaq lost more than 2.0%. A sell-off in shares of tech/growth stocks including a major social-media company, led equities lower last Monday. With Monday's downturn, the Nasdaq has declined about 7.0% since its September 7 peak as it inches closer to -10.0% correction territory. A jump in energy and utility shares wasn't enough to keep the S&P 500 from dipping 1.3%. The Russell 2000 lost 1.1% and the Global Dow slid 0.3%. Treasury yields and crude oil prices rose, while the dollar slipped.

Tech shares recovered from Monday's decline to help drive the market higher last Tuesday. The Nasdaq jumped 1.3% to lead the benchmark indexes. The S&P 500 gained 1.1%, the Dow climbed 0.9%, the Global Dow gained 0.8%, and the Russell 2000 added 0.5%. The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose to 1.52%. Crude oil prices gained nearly 2.0% to reach $79.14 per barrel. The dollar advanced nearly 0.25%. Financials, communication services, and information technology increased at least 1.5% to lead the market sectors.

Wall Street ended last Wednesday generally higher on news that Congress was making progress toward a debt ceiling resolution. The Nasdaq (0.5%), the S&P 500 (0.4%), and the Dow (0.3%) rose, while the Russell 2000 (-0.6%) and the Global Dow (-0.3%) fell. Ten-year Treasury yields dipped, but remained over 1.52%. The dollar advanced, while crude oil prices declined. Energy, materials, and health care were the only market sectors to fall. Consumer staples and real estate advanced 1.0%.

Stocks posted a third straight day of gains last Thursday following the deal to push back the expiration of the debt ceiling to December 3. A larger-than-expected decline in new claims for unemployment insurance also helped bolster investor confidence. Consumer discretionary, health care, and materials led the market sectors. Each of the benchmark indexes listed here gained ground, led by the Russell 2000 (1.6%), followed by the Nasdaq (1.1%), the Dow (1.0%), the Global Dow (0.9%), and the S&P 500 (0.8%). Treasury yields reached 1.57%. The dollar dipped, while crude oil prices climbed nearly 2.0% to $78.85 per barrel.

Equities fell on weak jobs data last Friday. The Russell 2000 (-0.8%) and the Nasdaq (-0.5%) headed the declines. Only the Global Dow ended the day in the black. Energy and financials were the only market sectors to end the day higher. Ten-year Treasury yields continued to climb, closing last Friday at 1.60%. The dollar fell for the second consecutive day, while crude oil prices rose for the second consecutive day.

The national average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.190 per gallon on October 4, $0.015 per gallon more than the prior week's price and $1.018 higher than a year ago. Gasoline production decreased during the week ended October 1, averaging 9.4 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.7 million barrels per day during the week ended October 1 — 330,000 barrels per day more than the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 89.6% of their operable capacity, up from the prior week's level of 88.1%.

Market/Index

2020 Close

Prior Week

As of 10/8

Weekly Change

YTD Change

DJIA

30,606.48
 34,326.46 34,746.25 1.22% 13.53%

Nasdaq

12,888.28

 15,566.70 14,579.54
0.09%

13.12%

S&P 500

3,756.07

4,357.04 4,391.34 0.79%

16.91%

Russell 2000

 1,974.86 2,241.63

2,233.09

-0.38% 13.08%

Global Dow

3,487.52

3,973.93

4,026.66 1.33%

 

15.46%

Fed. Funds target rate

0.00%-0.25%

0.00%-0.25%

0.00%-0.25%

0 bps

0 bps

10-year Treasuries

0.91%

1.46%

1.60%

14 bps

69 bps

US Dollar-DXY

89.84

94.04

94.10

0.06% 4.74%

Crude Oil-CL=F

$48.52 $75.76 $79.48 4.91% 63.81%

Gold-GC=F

$1,893.10

$1,760.10 $1,756.80 -0.19%

 

-7.20%
Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week's Economic News

  • Employment rose by 194,000 in September, well short of expectations. There were some encouraging signs, however. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 4.8%, down from 7.8% in September 2020. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 710,000 to 7.7 million (12.5 million in September 2020). Despite these improving figures, they remain above their levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020). Employment is down 5.0 million, or 3.3%, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. The labor force participation rate dipped 0.1 percentage point to 61.6%, while the employment-population ratio inched up 0.2 percentage point to 58.7%. The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 6.0 million in September. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the last four weeks or were unavailable to take a job. In September, 13.2% of employed persons teleworked because of the pandemic, while 5.0 million persons reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic. Average hourly earnings rose by $0.19 to $30.85 in September. Average hourly earnings have risen 4.6% since September 2020. The average work week increased 0.2 hour to 34.8 hours.

  • According to the latest report from IHS Markit, the purchasing managers' services index expanded in September, but at the slowest pace in the last 13 months. Labor shortages hindered output growth, while sales were negatively impacted by the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, cost pressures rose for the second consecutive month as input prices increased at a steep rate. Companies continued to pass on higher costs to clients, but at the slowest pace in the last five months.

  • The goods and services trade deficit expanded by 4.2% to $73.3 billion in August. Exports grew 0.5%, while imports increased 1.4%. Year to date, the goods and services deficit increased $140.8 billion, or 33.7%, from the same period in 2020. Exports increased $244.3 billion, or 17.5%. Imports increased $385.1 billion, or 21.2%. The trade deficit for goods (not including services) with China increased $3.1 billion to $28.1 billion in August. The deficit with Canada increased $1.4 billion to $5.1 billion, while the deficit with Mexico decreased $1.9 billion to $6.6 billion.

  • The number of new claims for unemployment insurance benefits rose for the third consecutive week. For the week ended October 2, there were 326,000 new claims for unemployment insurance, a decrease of 38,000 from the previous week's level, which was revised up by 2,000. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims for the week ended September 25 was 2.0%, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's rate, which was revised up by 0.1 percentage point. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended September 25 was 2,714,000, a decrease of 97,000 from the prior week's level, which was revised up by 9,000. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 14, 2020, when it was 1,770,000. For comparison, last year at this time, there were 782,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the rate for unemployment claims was 7.2%. During the last week of February 2020 (pre-pandemic), there were 219,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits was 1,724,000. States and territories with the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ended September 18 were Puerto Rico (4.5%), Illinois (4.2%), California (3.1%), Hawaii (3.0%), New Jersey (2.9%), Nevada (2.8%), Alaska (2.7%), Oregon (2.7%), Louisiana (2.5%), and New York (2.5%). States and territories with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ended September 25 were California (+9,907), Michigan (+6,115), Texas (+4,625), the District of Columbia (+2,223), and Minnesota (+2,002), while the largest decreases were in Virginia (-7,245), Maryland (-5,617), Arizona (-4,241), Louisiana (-3,160), and Ohio (-2,853).

  • The number of new claims for unemployment insurance benefits rose for the third consecutive week. For the week ended September 25, there were 362,000 new claims for unemployment insurance, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week's level. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims for the week ended September 18 was 2.0%, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's rate. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended September 18 was 2,802,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the prior week's level, which was revised down by 25,000. For comparison, last year at this time, there were 803,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the rate for unemployment claims was 7.8%. During the last week of February 2020 (pre-pandemic), there were 219,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits was 1,724,000. States and territories with the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ended September 11 were Puerto Rico (4.7%), California (3.4%), the District of Columbia (3.2%), Oregon (3.2%), Alaska (3.1%), Nevada (3.1%), New Jersey (3.1%), the Virgin Islands (3.1%), Hawaii (2.7%), and Illinois (2.7%). States and territories with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ended September 18 were California (+17,218), Virginia (+12,140), Ohio (+4,147), Oregon (+3,413), and Maryland (+2,452), while the largest decreases were in Louisiana (-6,935), New York (-2,275), Missouri (-1,568), Oklahoma (-1,264), and New Mexico (-1,055).

Eye on the Week Ahead

The latest reports on inflationary trends are available this week. Transitory or not, inflation has been rising for the past several months. The Consumer Price Index has risen 5.3%, the Producer Price Index is up 8.3%, import prices have increased 9.0%, and export prices have climbed 16.8%.

Data sources: Economic: Based on data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (unemployment, inflation); U.S. Department of Commerce (GDP, corporate profits, retail sales, housing); S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index (home prices); Institute for Supply Management (manufacturing/services). Performance: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. The U.S. Dollar Index is a geometrically weighted index of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to six foreign currencies. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2021.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable — we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. Market summaries contain information on the Dow, S&P 500, NASDAQ, Russell 2000, Global Dow, Federal Funds interest rate, and 10-year Treasury yields, as well as highlights of past and future economic data.